Saturday, December 30, 2006

End of Year Recap

This seems to be the popular bloggy thing to 5 races, PB, PR's etc of 2006.

Mine are pretty easy. I started 2006 with an injury. Due to overtraining, I strained my IT Band. It hurt to even walk on it, so there was no question of ignoring the doctor's orders. That, with some non-running health issues, led me to have more doctor appointments in January 06 than I have had in five years!

I worked very hard the first quarter of 2006 to stay motivated. I weight trained, after my pool workouts, since I could not do the elliptical or the bike. I was very concerned about gaining weight without all my cardio. I read books on training, started reading blogs about training, and listening to podcasts. This was all just to keep me going.
The doctor cleared me in late February to run. I think that first mile jog on the treadmill, at the gym, was just as rewarding as that first mile I ran a few years ago!
Then came the slogging. I had no endurance. I was whipped after 3 or 4 mile runs. So disheartening!! I remembered the "good old days" where I would blithely respond to the question, "oh I'm going to go run 10 or 14 or 16 or so miles.."

But you just keep at it. You keep building. Even with being dead tired after 4 miles, at least I was out there running!! The injury and the time off were still very much in my head. In fact, they still are. I had just, in December 2005, ran my first 50K. I had discovered trail running and how much I loved it. I had a passion for something and then found I could not do it!! To this day it makes me appreciate my health. No matter how bad a run is, at least I am out there doing the run, and having the abilitiy to run.

Mohican Run

I decided late on Friday to head over to Mohican since the weather was going to be nice. Since I started my run at 8 am, it was still in the 20's at this time! By the end of my run, it had warmed up quite a bit. Well, I was fine, as usual, once I ran a 1/2 mile and warmed up.
I ran the portion of the course which is a big tourist attraction in the area, Lyons Fall. It's an easy mile hike to the first waterfall, then a bit of a climb to the second. This is a 4 mile loop during the Mohican 100; I played tourist today and only ran 1/2 of it and took some pictures.
I returned to my vehicle, refilled the water bottle, and started out on the "orange loop" of the course. This starts out by going up a huge steep hill. Yep, hill just as steep as I remember it.
The mountain bikers have been extending their trails in the area. I followed a new trail that they have cleared on one portion of the trail. Then the Mo course totally is on the mountain bike trail for about 8 or 9 miles. I was wearing a blaze orange vest, due to it still being gun season for deer here in Ohio, and I was keeping an eye out for the bikers, since I had passed a bunch of them at their trailhead.
It was a great run, as usual. I had long conversations with myself, wrote total blog entries, made 'to do' list, and marvelled at the contours of the countryside. The orange loop seemed a little strange to me, even as much as I have run it; the different season made it seem like a different trail. It was fun to actually see ridgelines and roads that normally are masked by the lush greenness.
I didn't encounter any bikers until about three miles from the trailhead, then there were 10 or 12 out. I kept wondering if there were any female mountain bikers out there, and the last biker I saw was female! We were all courteous to each other, I stepped off the trail for them, reasoning it was easier for me to stop then them.
After the mountain bike trail, it's another 2.5 miles back to the covered bridge. I had aid stashed here at the biker trailhead. I drank my first Redbull- it was NASTY!!!!! I only drank half of it. I did not like the sweetness or the flavor. But hey, this is what training runs are for, to try new things out and see how they work. I'm glad I only bought one! I'll be trying a different energy drink on another long run.

I encountered this female and three others about a ½ mile into the section. I started snapping pictures. The deer weren’t moving, and I just moved closer and closer. I kept advancing closer to them. Finally, I went on with my run-the deer still weren’t moving!
About 100 feet down trail I encountered another three leaping spectacularly across downed logs-the mountain bikers were on a trail above me on the ridge and scared the deer.
This section of the run takes you right down to the water’s edge of the Clear Fork River. This was an area hard hit by the storms of July. When we had run this in August, we had to climb over 12 or so trees.The wonderful park works and the volunteer Mohican Trail Club had been hard at work down here. There was only a few trees that I had to climb over, and I could see chainsaw marks in these.

I felt pretty energetic on this last two miles, and wondered how well the cookies I ate at my aid stash were working. Then I remembered the RedBull!! Well, I have to say it does work.
The tourists were out in full force at the Covered Bridge, many of them heading off for a hike to Lyons Fall. I got many strange looks as I started to disrobe at my vehicle. Hey, I actually did sit inside it when I changed my tights and shirt.
I thought about an ice bath in the river, but the water was high and moving, and I thought I would skip that again.
So, another great Mo Run. I realized I won’t be back in the area probably till February with my weekends being booked. I will miss the trails there!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mohican Trail Run

We had a gorgeous day for a run yesterday on the Mohican 100 Trail Course. Four others joined me, Rob, Jeff, Tom, and Dave. Dave drove up from Cincinnati, and Tom came over from Erie PA! for the run! Great weather, in the 40's. The wind kicked up a few times, making it a bit cold when we would crest a ridge, or when we stopped for a quick break, but otherwise just fine.
This is a 21 mile section, which we finished in just under 5 hours. Jeff continued to run to make it an even 5 hours, with the rest of us content with 4.56!
There are also 4 water crossings on this route. Actually there were five, a tiny creek that usually isn't even a trickle had considerable water in it. As we came to the first water crossing, it was evident that there was no way to keep the feet dry.

After the feet were wet for the first time, I didn't see any reason to not avoid the mud. It had rained quite a bit the last few days, and there had been many horses out on the trail. So most of us just started running straight through the mud rather than try and pick our way around it. Nobody lost a shoe to the shoe sucking mud although it was reaching for my shoes a few times!
It was good to have some other runners who was familiar with the course.Jeff had finished the 100 in 2006, and Rob was very familiar with the area, since he runs there alot. Still, we managed to cut off a corner of the course, one that involved a very steep hill. I kept waiting for us to come upon it, and then before I knew it, we were at the fire tower. (Not complaining about missing the big hill!) But we're still trying to figure out how we bypassed it.
Nothing hurt on this run!! What a great feeling! I'm a little stiff today, Christmas Eve, butI think our group pace was a bit fast for me which is good!and I think I pushed myself a bit; that's what I need to do!

Monday, December 18, 2006

4 Mile Non-Trail Run Today

I got out of work late today, due to a late afternoon meeting, due to my own fault, of asking too many questions and (GASP!!!) wanting people to do their jobs. That's all I want. I do my job, you do your job. Oh yes, I guess I need to add, do your job competently. /End of job rant.
I was planning a run on our little rails-to-trail bike path, which is just kind of dirt and cinders at this point, hence, I only brought trail shoes to work. But I knew I would end up in the dark, without a light, so I went for the quick 4 mile run on the local bike trail, which is asphalt. The Brooks ASR trail shoes were just fine for this run. I still want to get to the trails!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My FatAss Report

Should be subtitled:

Snow??!!! or

Every part of my body hurts!!

I only ran two loops, which was 16.6 miles. We got started pretty much at 5am, about twenty runners. Although it was dark out, there was 4 inches of snow, and a partial moon, so it was really bright out. I had a headlight on my hat, which I had to keep adjusting, but it was plenty enough to see with. It was 23 degrees at the start, and didn't warm up much more from that for my 5 hours on the trail.
The Mill Park YUT-C course is a great course to run on. Of course it's a bit less dangerous without all the ice! The Monkey Trail was a good example. The trail kind of goes straight uphill, levels off for a bit, then straight downhill. This downhill is carefully runnable in the fall, but part of it was pure ice. I slipped and slid down a bit on my butt. A tree collided with my thigh, stopping my descent and I thought " that'll leave a mark" and sighed. I had a bruise in the same spot from the last Mo run...
I finished the first loop in 2.20 and then started back the same way I had come in. I had the opportunity to talk to Bruce, another Mohican runner, before he got ahead of me after the ball park.
On this section of the trail, there is a log which you have to cross over a small stream. On the first loop, I slipped on this and gave myself quite a scare. On the second loop, I got smarter and just climbed down into the stream and bypassed the log.
My IT Band was letting me know I had not stretched properly in the past few weeks. I could feel my hip hurting, and my knee hurting whenever I ran. I knew I was getting slower (even more so than my normal slow speed) so that was discouraging. To distract myself from the leg, I tried enjoying the scenery. It was really beautiful in the park with the white covering of snow (it was daylight by now.) I wished for my camera to take some pics, especially of the icicles hanging off all the rock inclines. The portion by the Grist Mill of icicles was really spectacular.
This is where Jim met me again-he was already halfway through his third loop when I was just working on halfway through the second! I crossed the Covered Bridge and headed back toward the Lilly Pond.
On this section, I hit a patch of ice, slipped, got a foot on solid dirt, then the other foot came down on more ice, and WHAM!!! I slipped, legs in the air, landing on my back. My water bottle,which was in the small of my back, kind of melded into my body, which was pretty painful. I stayed there for a couple of seconds, pretty stunned and hurting. Then I rolled over to my knees—anything broke? No. Well, maybe my right middle finger, but if that was all, that was okay. Everything seemed to be working. I got up to my feet and slumped over a big rock, I was pretty shaky. Wasn’t able to move from there for a bit. Some hikers walked past me and I snapped out of it. Okay, forward motion and see how you feel. My head felt a bit funny and I felt my eyesight seemed weird-did I hit my head when I went down? I couldn’t remember. I took my hat off to see if there was dirt on the back of it. No, no dirt, maybe I was just shook up.
I walked for quite a bit, and pretty slowly. I wasn’t feeling all that great. My back, with its imprint from the water bottle was not happy. I wasn’t feeling like running either. But I was getting colder, and I knew I needed to run to keep from getting colder. The Advil that I had at the vehicle, that I was going to take for my IT Band, was looking better and better!!
I got back into a run, and got by the hikers, but still wasn’t feeling the greatest. I was worried a bit about my back. I knew it would hurt more later. I decided it would be best to stop after this lap with my leg and back issues. So I finished up at 4.51. Jim was coming in to start his fourth lap!! Back at the vehicles, so I chatted a bit with him, told him I was dropping, so everyone would know what had happened to me.

My back stiffened up overnight, but it doesn’t feel too bad, except the whole bruised lower section. But it doesn’t feel like I twisted or wrenched anything, just bruised up. I was disappointed in my bruise, I was hoping for a perfect outline of my water bottle in my back.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

8 Mile Treadmill Run

I'm glad to have gotten this workout in. I have been a bit anxious about running, and future races for the last couple of days-I'm not sure why, I'm sure some of it is my lack of running at the moment, the change of weather and loss of daylight time, my inability to lose weight, and trepidation about doing some long runs in the winter here in the cold weather. I was going to go to the gym and do a weight workout, but when I found myself sitting down in front of the TV, I thought, you might as well go run on the treadmill if you are going to watch TV. So I thought I would run for two hours, since I was watching trash TV for two episodes (What Not to Wear-hey it could be worse.)
It took me about 4 miles to kind of settle into a groove, then I thought I would just run for 8 miles OR two hours whatever came first.
So I felt a bit better about running, getting an actual wokout in. I wanted to run outside, but I couldn't force myself outside into the 36 degree weather and wind. It's just the first time of the year for the cold. In a few weeks I'll just don my clothes and go out and run in the same temps, it's just hard getting used to the first couple of days. I did find my running tights and was surprised to find I own three pair!! Now to gather up the long sleeved shirts, gloves, and hats and get the winter clothes organized. Winter is here.
Oh, and twenty-three days til Christmas!